Cuban Missile Crisis, Google, Alexa, More: Sunday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 18, 2022


National Security Archive: The Cuban Missile Crisis @ 60 POSTMORTEMS. “… the National Security Archive is posting a final collection of postmortem documents, concluding its series on the 60th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In addition to the summary of the Khrushchev-Novotný meeting, the selection includes correspondence from Khrushchev to Castro, Castro’s own lengthy reflections on the missile crisis, a perceptive aftermath report from the British Ambassador to Havana, and a lengthy analysis by the U.S. Defense Department on ‘Some Lessons from Cuba.'”


TorrentFreak: Google’s Permanent Deindexing of Pirate Sites Spreads Across Europe. “Google’s decision to completely deindex pirate sites from search results is spreading across Europe. Earlier this year the MPA admitted that around 10,000 domains had already been removed but today’s figure is likely to be much higher. Takedown notices on the Lumen Database and a report published in Lithuania cast additional light on a stealthy but massive piracy deindexing program.”

CNET: Amazon’s Alexa Adds Text-to-Speech, Gestures and Captioning Features. “Amazon on Tuesday added three new Alexa features to its Echo Show smart display that are geared toward improving accessibility.”


The Verge: How to buy a social network, with Tumblr CEO Matt Mullenweg. “I’m talking to Matt Mullenweg, who is the CEO of Automattic, which owns, the blog hosting platform, and Tumblr, the social network, which he purchased from Verizon in 2019. Then, Verge deputy editor Alex Heath and I are going to break down a bunch of what Matt told me and apply it to Twitter to see what we can learn.”


CNN: ‘There are red lines’: Elon Musk faces international outcry after Twitter bans journalists. “Elon Musk’s decision to suddenly ban prominent tech journalists from Twitter is fanning a fierce backlash from lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic. In Europe, Germany’s foreign ministry tweeted its concern with the impact Musk’s moves could have on press freedom, while a senior EU official said Twitter must comply with the bloc’s rules or face possible sanctions.”

Bleeping Computer: Google releases dev tool to list vulnerabilities in project dependencies. “Google has launched OSV Scanner, a new tool that allows developers to scan for vulnerabilities in open-source software dependencies used in their project. The scanner draws data from, the distributed vulnerability database for open source code that Google released in February 2021, to offer relevant information about known security issues affecting open-source code.”

Ars Technica: Twitter stiffs software vendor with $8 million left on contract, lawsuit says. “A lawsuit says Twitter failed to pay a $1,092,000 invoice in a software contract that doesn’t expire until late 2024, and that the Elon Musk-led company apparently intends to stiff the vendor on another $7 million worth of payments.”


Washington Post: AI can now create images out of thin air. See how it works.. “This is artificial-intelligence-generated imagery, a rapidly emerging technology now in the hands of anyone with a smart phone. The results can be astonishing: crisp, beautiful, fantastical and sometimes eerily realistic. But they can also be muddy and grotesque: warped faces, gobbledygook street signs and distorted architecture. How does it work? Keep scrolling to learn step by step how the process unfolds.”

University of Melbourne: Virtual reading rooms make rare and special collections available to all. “Two of Australia’s largest rare and special collections libraries are now available for the community to view and research online, with digital access to collection items being provided in one-on-one, real time Virtual Reading Room appointments…. A Virtual Reading Room uses high-resolution cameras and video conferencing technology to bring collections directly from the reading rooms to your own room in a one-on-one online session.”


Texas A&M: Aggie Archaeologists Conserving Ship From Colonial-Era Virginia. “At a humble facility that once served as the fire station for the Bryan Air Force Base, the timbers of an 18th-century merchant ship lie submerged in a row of long, shallow tanks, quietly awaiting their final voyage home. Over the next few years, a team of Texas A&M University professors and students will carefully conserve the salvaged remains of a colonial-era shipwreck before sending the pieces back to Alexandria, Virginia, where the wreck was originally discovered in 2015.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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